Tainui Waka representatives (comprising of Waikato-Tainui, Te Nehenehenui and Raukawa Settlement Trust) are working collaboratively on behalf of their respective iwi to host the 160th Commemoration of the Battle of O-Rākau and the end of the Invasion of Waikato between the 31st March to 2nd April 2024. 

This event will be a time for us to acknowledge the conflicts, challenges and interactions that resulted in loss of life and caused great hardship for whānau and hapū, leading to widespread displacement of Waikato iwi. 

The Battle of O-Rākau marked a shift of resources, profoundly altering the social, economic, and political landscape of the Waikato, Maniapoto, and Bay of Plenty regions. 

The 160th Commemoration is about healing wounds of the past and creating a space where new and informed conversations can be had; where understandings and relationships based upon a more complete understanding of a shared history can be explored. 

O-Rākau Heritage Society spokesperson, Kaawhia Muraahi says that it’s important for all New Zealanders to understand where this country has come from. 

“This significant day is a reminder of the resilience and strength of our tūpuna, and the sacrifices made by virtually unknown men, women and children should be remembered with their stories told and retold so they are not lost.” 

“We are focusing on making this historical event inclusive, healing, respectful and reflective of who we are as a nation today” says Mr Muraahi. 

The main commemoration day will be held at the O-Rākau Battle site near Kihikihi on Tuesday 2nd April. It is expected that thousands will be present alongside leaders and representatives from diverse cultural communities and faiths. Crown representatives including Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, Hon. Tama Potaka will also be in attendance. 

Additional notes: 

– To view the overview for the day, please head to the following link: https://www.orakau300.com/hotaka 

– Media passes are required should you wish to attend this event. Please complete the media request form provided and email to Katherine Barry to be added to the media attendance register. You will be provided with your media passes on the day. 

– For media enquiries please email Katherine.Barry@tainui.co.nz